Russia publishes list of “unfriendly” countries

The President of Russia’s State Duma publishes a list of “unfriendly countries” ranked by the number of sanctions they impose on Moscow.

According to the list of “unfriendly countries” announced today on social media by Speaker of the Russian State Duma (Russian House of Representatives) Vyacheslav Volodin, the United States has topped the list with 1,983 sanctions against Russia. Next positions are Canada, Switzerland, UK, EU as a whole, Australia and Japan.

“By imposing illegal sanctions on Russia, these countries have caused food and energy prices to skyrocket,” Volodin said. “These are the main culprits behind the current difficulties and future crises around the world. They are responsible for the dizzying price increases worldwide.”

Chairman of the State Duma of Russia Vyacheslav Volodin.  Photo: AFP.

Vyacheslav Volodin, Chairman of the State Duma of Russia (Russian Lower House of Parliament). Picture: AFP.

Energy prices had hit record highs in Europe before Russia launched a military campaign in Ukraine in late February. Moscow said at the time that Europe could reduce price hikes by signing long-term supply deals with Russia in order to have a mechanism to reduce the increase in the spot market while also having the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline up and running as soon as possible to ensure imports.

Western sanctions against Russia include suspending the Nord Stream 2 project and creating an incentive to cut Europe off from Russian energy supplies. The sanctions also tightened the chemical industry of Russia and Belarus, including fertilizers.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said May 18 that the war in Ukraine has exacerbated food insecurity in poor countries due to rising prices. Ukraine is a major grain exporter, especially wheat. Both Russia and Ukraine accounted for more than a quarter of global wheat supply last year.

According to Mr. Guterres, the effective solution to the food crisis is to reintegrate Ukraine into the global food supply chain and restore supplies of fertilizers from Russia and Belarus to the world market. He said he was in “active contact” with Russia and Ukraine, as well as the US and the European Union (EU), to bring food exports back to normal levels.

The UN estimates that around 20 million tons of grain from the previous harvest are trapped in Ukraine. If this amount of food is released, it could ease the pressure on the global food market.

Huyen Le (Corresponding rt)